UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As the world’s largest student-run philanthropy, the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon — known as THON — raises millions of dollars each year for Four Diamonds to fund pediatric cancer research and support children and families fighting childhood cancer. Though fundraising efforts occur year-round, THON culminates in an annual weekend that is completely run by student volunteers.
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s THON weekend will be much different than previous years. The 46-hour event, which begins at 6 p.m. this Friday, Feb. 19, will be held virtually. There will be no in-person spectators, dancers, or participants at the Bryce Jordan Center; all dancers and supporters will instead individually participate in THON from their own homes, and dancers will be asked to take breaks during designated rest hours between midnight and 6 a.m.
While the format for this year’s THON is different, the excitement and the goals remain the same for everyone involved, including the 16 students that comprise THON's executive board. Four of the 16 executive board directors are students in the College of the Liberal Arts; here are their stories.